6 Nov 2023

The Bar Standards Board (BSB), the independent regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales, is seeking barrister and lay members for its Independent Decision-Making Body.

The BSB regulates barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. Our statutory objectives are set out in the Legal Services Act 2007 and in pursuit of those objectives our duties include:

  • setting education and training requirements; 
  • setting and enforcing standards; 
  • authorising organisations providing Bar training and applications from individuals seeking waivers from our rules; 
  • monitoring how well the Bar serves consumers; and 
  • considering reports about conduct.

The Independent Decision-Making Body (IDB) is a non-executive body responsible for taking regulatory decisions that require independent input and has been operating since October 2019.

The IDB consists of a pool of suitably qualified decision makers from which panels of lay and barrister members are formed to take decisions on individual cases - panels of five are used for decisions on enforcement cases and panels of three are used for appeals against authorisation decisions (primarily exemptions and waivers from training requirements).

Most of the decisions for which the IDB is responsible are in relation to whether enforcement action should be taken where breaches of the professional obligations, as set out in the BSB Handbook, may have occurred.  However, the IDB is also responsible for, amongst other things, taking decisions in relation to appeals against executive decisions not to grant waivers from the Handbook requirements or decisions not to authorise or license a body to provide legal services. 

The work of all IDB members includes preparing for, attending and/or chairing panel meetings, attending training sessions as required and ensuring that they stay up to date with issues related to the regulation of the Bar. We are seeking up to three barrister members and up to six lay members to join the IDB.

We welcome applications from practising barristers and lay people. Lay members cannot be (or ever have been) barristers or solicitors, as defined in paragraph 2(4) of Schedule 1 of the Legal Services Act 2007.

Appointments will be for an initial period of up to three years, potentially renewable for a further three-year term, subject to satisfactory performance on completion of 18 months’ and after the end of the initial three-year term.

Remuneration for all members of the IDB is paid at a flat rate of £308 per day or £154 per half day (with an additional 12.07% for holiday pay plus VAT, if relevant) – the fee currently covers both attendance at meetings and preparation time. Fees will increase in April 2024, to £330 per day or £165 per half day for induction and training and to £430 per day or £215 per half day for panel meetings (with an additional 12.07% for holiday pay plus VAT, if relevant). An additional fee will then also be paid to members who act as panel chairs.

We welcome applications from those located outside London. Panel members can attend meetings remotely although there is an expectation that members will, from time to time, attend meetings in person in London for which reasonable expenses will be paid. Quarterly training sessions are designed as in-person events which members will be expected to attend.

After reading the information pack, candidates should provide a covering letter outlining how they meet the competencies required for the position, together with a CV and Supporting Details Form. Please also complete the Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form.

We welcome applications from all people who meet the role requirements regardless of background and particularly encourage those from groups that are currently underrepresented in our independent decision-making processes such as people from minoritised ethnic backgrounds, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

The Bar Standards Board is a Disability Confident Committed employer. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria for this role will be guaranteed an interview under this scheme.

If you have any queries, please contact Rebecca Forbes, Head of Governance and Corporate Services, in the first instance: [email protected].

Please send completed applications to: [email protected].

Closing date for applications:  9am Monday 4 December 2023.

Interviews will take place in London on Monday 12, Tuesday 13 or Wednesday 14 February 2024.  Remote participation can be arranged if there is good reason to do so.  The dates may change, including the possible addition of other dates, depending on interview panel and applicant availability.

The successful candidates will be required to complete mandatory induction and training on appointment.

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